Low bone mass (osteopenia) and osteoporosis (weak, thinning bones) affect an estimated 34 million US women and men aged 50 and older. Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans and is a disease that causes weakening bones in the hip, spine, and forearm leading to fractures, back pain, and more. Bone loss often goes unnoticed until a problem occurs. Osteoporosis symptoms such as bone and muscle pain, particularly in the back, may look like other health problems, so please contact your provider for a diagnosis. Osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging, although many believe it is simply an inevitable result of old bones.
Keep bones strong with early detection
Austin Regional Clinic encourages early detection of low bone mass for men and women. We offer full-body bone exams (bone density testing) at our Far West, South 1st, and Kyle Center Street locations.
If you, or someone you know, is at risk of developing osteoporosis, a bone density screening is recommended to detect bone loss. In the meantime, bone health can be protected with weight-bearing exercise and calcium-rich foods. Ask your doctor about vitamin D, minerals, calcium supplements, and other bone healing options.
Are you at risk for osteoporosis?
Here are the risk factors for osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:
- Thin or small frame
- Increased age
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Post-menopause, including early or surgically induced menopause
- Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
- Past history of eating disorders anorexia nervosa or bulimia
- A lifelong diet low in calcium and vitamin D
- Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids and some anticonvulsants
- Low testosterone levels (in men)
- An inactive lifestyle
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive use of alcohol and caffeine
- Being Caucasian or Asian
Add on a DEXA body composition scan
If you are scheduling a bone-density exam, it is a good opportunity to add on a DEXA body composition analysis scan at the same time. All you have to do is notify the radiology technician at the time of your bone density scan.
Also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, a DEXA body scan essentially gives you a detailed snapshot of how your body weight breaks down into fat and lean tissue. It is considered the “gold standard” of measurement if you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle, or both. The body composition scan is a $75 out of pocket expense and is not covered by insurance. Learn more.